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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/30/11

a reply to Dr. Bramhall's supposed pathology of nonviolence

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Even though the Magna Carta, which gave us habeus corpus, was coerced by the military defeat of the king's forces,
a militant assertion of right, reason and compassion guides and manages,
exposing force as the mindless brutality it is. A clear case in point is the abolition of the Magna Carta by Bush's Military Commissions Act.
Are we not more than
our physical selves? Do we not exist more in our social circles than in
individualistic pursuits? Do you suppose liberals could ever accumulate a
trillion dollars per year in arms, agents and surveillance? OpEdNews is more along our line than the B2 bomber or drone warfare. No matter what the NRA tells you, there are no small arms that will defeat the US Military. The beast
is armored, and the tender belly is vulnerable. Compassion's necessity
will do more than coercion ever could to reform an admittedly voracious
and predatory priority of money over all other considerations.
you have mentioned about capital's ruinous effects on every aspect of
the living earth is true. But the first correction of madness must be in
law, not force. Although the opponent recognizes no law, and discards
ethical constraints at will, violence begets violence. Even violence is
plumbed for profit by advocates of force. But a massively greater
allegiance to order, reason and law and foresight-- to wisdom and
understanding drives the force of civil society. Our prime directives,
crops and babies, cannot endure war. Allowing every conflict to devolve
into mere physical mass versus mass deprives adherents of life over
lucre of ingenuity, providence and self-sufficiency. Is not life,
itself, a superior and more necessarily enduring concern? Adopting the
means of the opponent deprives us of our best devices.
Here's an
illustration: In high school gym class, we had wrestling one semester. I
won all matches in my class. I was a hundred and forty-five pounds, but
hardened by hours of strenuous exercise and psychological drive. Coach
matched me with a 325-lb. guy. I'll never forget him. I recall his name
as Roethlisberger or something like that. (This was, after all, fifty
years ago.) Poor guy never knew what hit him. I had so much drive and
frustrated anger, wily determination and physical dexterity that almost
by sheer force of will, certainly not physical mass, I pinned the guy.
Pure violence would have paled and failed, but steely intent could not
lose. The scientific application of oriental discipline employs the
opponent's force against himself. Primitive hunters never could kill big
game by force without risking unacceptable losses of life and limb, so they used strategy to drive them off cliffs. Here is
the unconquerable human trait. Wit and ingenuity will beat force and
mass every time.
Only reliance on law can protect and defend life on
earth, precisely because the opponent will unhesitatingly cut a brutally
wide swath in the living to achieve his ends. Reason and compassion
will do what force never could. The shovel in one's hand may be small,
but it will dig a big hole. And dig will move more mountains than wish
ever dreamed, as Jack London said. Besides, isn't the use of brute,
mindless force exactly what we oppose? I believe it is the assertion of
force by capital's control of the necessities of life-- food, water,
medicine, energy-- that is pathological, not reliance on law and order.
Even though our corrupt legal system is slanted toward the benefit of
concentrated wealth, we must not only support civil authority, but
implement it. The law of civilization must replace the law of the
Increasingly in the present and future we are likely to see a
greater frequency of extreme weather events due mostly, I believe, to
the abuse of our environment by capitalist endeavors. I think this will
drive us ever farther from our current preoccupations and toward each
other, our greater selves. Historically we are a social species since
primordial eras. Even Ayn Rand's rugged individualist could not survive
without the tools and concepts endowed by collective wisdom and mutual
interests. The proof is in our adversary's application of strategies to
divide and conquer.
And division is the only way they can dominate us. It is not the limits of physical reality, but our thoughts which define our world. Ideals may never be finally achieved. Who can define Justice? But we can never give up.
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Avid reader, jazz musician, philosopher, chef, stone mason, carpenter, writer, painter, poet,humanist, teacher, holistic ethicist who believes consciousness and love pervade the universe, except among self-obsessed humans. I perceive the (more...)
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